Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia:
Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

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  • Stoneware with white slip and iron pigment under clear glaze
  • 6.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Sukhothai ware
  • 16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Sukhothai kilns, Sukhothai, Sukhothai province, North-central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.298


Dish with rounded sides, everted rim and carved footring; five spur marks from other kiln stacking disc on interior bottom; a black circular scar from kiln tubular support on base.
Clay: medium grey stoneware with white impurities, coarse and grainy.
Glaze: clear, low gloss, transparent; foot and base unglazed.
Decoration: painted in underglaze iron pigment over white slip; a "cakra" design on central medallion, peacock's tail design compartmentalized into six panels bordered by horizontal lines on cavetto, the same peacock's tail design but compartmentalized into eight panels on exterior.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 19, 2003) Sukhothai underglaze iron bowls with chakra motifs were found in two mid-16th century shipwrecks, the Xuande cargo (+/-1540) and the Singtai shipwreck (+/-1550). Brown speculates that fish and flower motifs appeared earlier than the chakra and starburst motifs on the Sukhothai underglazed wares (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 68, color pls. 74, 78–79).

Brown, Roxanna M., and Sten Sjostrand. 2001. Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Ceramics in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Department of Museums and Antiques.

2. (Louise Cort, 14 January 2007) Don Hein associated the start of the Sukhothai kilns with the wares made at Si Satchanalai that he terms TRSW (Transitional Stoneware); (Hein 2001, fig. 95). Although Hein is cautious about dating, he suggests that TRSW dates to late 14th–15th century (Hein 1999, 150).

Changed Date from 15th–16th century to Late 14th–15th century.

Hein, Don. 2001. "The Sawankhalok Ceramic Industry: from Domestic Enterprise to Regional Entrepreneur". PhD Thesis, Department of Science and Technology, Deakin University, Melbourne.

Hein, Don. 1999. "The First Underglaze Painted Decoration at Sawankhalok: identification of a key influence? (Diqu shouci chuxian de youxia caihui: Taigou taoci tazhan shi shang wailai yingxiang de zhongyao xiansuo?)." Guoli Taiwan daxue Meishushi yanjiu jikan (The Taida Journal of Art History) 7: 137–158.

3. (Louise Cort, 21 May 2008) Based on her research on shipwrecks, Roxanna Brown dates densely decorated Sukhothai ware dishes of this type to shipwrecks of the sixteenth century, including the Singtai and the Xuande (both circa 1512–1540) (Brown 2004).

Changed Date from 14th–15th century to 16th century.

Brown, Roxanna Maude. 2004. "The Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia". Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles.

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